On May 24, Jaime Izurieta (aka “The Storefront Guy”) spent the day at ArtRat Gallery to share his expertise. He worked with Grand Rapids business owners on ways to transform the storefronts of their commercial spaces into an attraction in and of itself. 

Jaime’s business, Storefront Mastery, is a creative agency that guides small businesses and the organizations that help them to create great customer experiences.

During the event (sponsored by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.), Jaime described how he helped businesses in his home base of Montclair, NJ: from an Ethiopian restaurant that beat the pandemic with a takeout package that integrated food, music and art, to a movie theater whose prominent outside deck has fostered a community of knitting enthusiasts. He went on to describe how businesses from Disney World on down have successfully created immersive experiences that appeal to all of the senses.

That's Jaime’s goal: to help business owners create multisensory experiences that start at the curb and continue throughout the store, drawing people in. 

Jaime also discussed how commercial and public spaces can transform neighborhoods, from providing places to sit to offering special events that bring people in to interact with the business and with each other. (Like this presentation did.) 

In the afternoon, Jaime coached attendees as they worked through questionnaires that got them thinking about what features they could activate at their businesses. Then, they began creating proposals to make those changes happen. Jaime provided insight about about working with city officials to get permissions, and applying for funds available in cities like Grand Rapids. 

ArtRat Gallery is eager to host more events, from seminars to classes to performances to private parties and receptions. For more information, reach out to matthew@artrat.us.


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